Monday, August 09, 2004

The problem with having multiple submissions out to literary journals is that one's mail carrier ends up becoming a far more prominent person in one's life than he or she really needs to be. Indeed, the very title, Mail Carrier, begins to take on hushed and hallowed tones . . . it's granted initial caps and italics, and garnished with breathily mythic and resonant overtones. During the hour in which mail is typically delivered, one finds oneself starting to hover a bit . . . all normal household duties coming to a bit of a standstill so that one can hover all the more effectively. Not only that, one finds oneself turning into Creepy Wingnut Lady With Multiple Cats--peering out from behind the curtains every couple of minutes to monitor the progress of the [breathily mythic and resonant intonation] Mail Carrier [/breathily mythic and resonant intonation] coming down the block.

It's not, admittedly, a terribly flattering side of my personality.

Nonetheless, when (despite the intensity of aforementioned hovering and peering and monitoring) all that's left in one's mailbox is a measly catalogue--a crap catalogue at that, with shoddy and uninspiring goods arranged in aesthetically unappealing layouts--it is bitterly, bitterly disappointing.

Because here's the thing . . . it's not even that I mind getting the reject slips back anymore. (Sure, an acceptance letter is clearly a gazillion times better than getting a reject slip, but I'm okay with the fact that an acceptance letter is statistically bound to be the exception to the rule). In fact, I even enjoy receiving the reject slips back because it's as if I'm finally receiving an answer to a question flung out into the void. It's really the waiting and curiosity that I can't tolerate. It's like having a half-finished task hanging over my head . . . once the submission comes back to me, even if it's with a reject slip, I can finally have the satisfaction of crossing that particular literary journal off my list for that particular submission like an item on my to-do list, and then move forward with new plans.

So, yes . . . nothing interesting in my mailbox for days and days, and today I get that crummy catalogue. It was an affront, I tell you! An affront!

Not to mention that when days and days pass by with only junk mail, or uninteresting mail, I sometimes become convinced that my mail carrier is not my friend any longer and that, in fact, my mail carrier obviously wishes me harm. Not only that, my mail carrier is clearly an Emissary of Satan, and is deliberately withholding my mail simply to bug the crap out of me.

Because that's what Emissaries of Satan do in their spare time, when they're not training dobermans and mollycoddling the Antichrist.

Okay, I know . . . obsessing over whether the mail carrier is really an Emissary of Satan? Also not a terribly flattering side of my personality.

But did I explain how bitterly, bitterly disappointing that catalogue was? It was just a few smidgins away from being an Osh Kosh By Gosh-esque affair. I swear.

So, I'm in the Hy-Vee later on this afternoon, buying some fresh salad greens, when I happen to spot my Mail Carrier/Emissary of Satan casually and oh-so-innocently selecting bananas. I mean, the nerve! As if nothing were up!

It was only with great restraint that I refrained from shaking him down in order to force him to relinquish all of my mail that I'm feeling pretty certain he's been withholding from me all week long.

Bananas, indeed!
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 6:48 PM |
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Books by Artichoke Heart
Beyond Heart Mountain
Year of the Snake

Poems by Artichoke Heart
Songs for a Rainy Season
Toothpick Warriors
Snake Wife
Happy Hour
Girl With A Bowl On Her Head

Pillow Book Courtiers Of The
East Wing
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Pillow Book Courtiers Of The
West Wing
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